After lurking for years, I plan to be a more active member now that I'm starting to put together a trailer and rewrite my treatment for a feature doc about a 17th century Ottoman travel writer named Evliya Çelebi. Curious, cosmopolitan, funny, a great storyteller, and devout Muslim, he saw the Europeans as the Other -- which didn't stop him from talking with them. Take a little Cervantes, a pinch of Rebelais and Shakespeare's comedies, and you'll get a very general sense of how Evliya wrote -- though he's also remarkably unique in his ability to bring his world vividly to life.
I've been slowly edging toward the film for some time, and got a boost this past year by a Fulbright Fellowship in Turkey. Evliya traveled for 40 years and wrote a 10 volume manuscript, of which more than enough has been translated to English for filmmaking purposes. Here's hoping I won't have to travel anywhere near as long as I'm getting started at a much older age than he did. If you're interested in Evliya, there's some posts about him on my blog: www.sharonwoodmedia.com.
Down the road I'll be pursuing European co-producers but for the next few months, it's trailer and treatment time. Glad to be an active D-Word member at last. My pal Vivian Kleiman has always sung your praises and I look forward to doing so too.